Linking road funding to safety benefits represents ‘win-win’ for transport


New funding sources could be unlocked for transport if investment was linked to the impacts of improved road safety, a report claims.

A Social Impact Bond (SIB) system that pays out to investors for the successful reduction in injuries or hospital bed-days relating to road traffic accidents could bring extra cash and ‘new rigour’ to transport investment, according to policy developers Social Finance and Impact Strategist.

A United Nations ‘Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)’ due to be published later this year will aim to halve the number of people killed and injured on roads over the next 20 years.

The Breaking the Deadlock report commissioned by the FIA Foundation has emphasised such a target will require greater funding for global road traffic injury prevention.

However it adds that ‘significant improvements’ could be made if the billions of dollars of global road infrastructure investment was deployed primarily to realise the financial benefit of reduced injuries and fatalities.

Director of the FIA Foundation, Saul Billingsley, added: ‘For too long there has been a disconnect between road and urban transport provision and the effect this expenditure has on public health.

‘As we prepare to implement the new SDG road safety target we need a game-changer, a new way to transparently measure and reward safe and sustainable transport investment. Designing a SIB investment for safer road infrastructure design which pays investors for a successful reduction in injuries would be a win-win for transport and health ministries.

‘We are wasting far too much money mending broken bodies in trauma wards when the solutions are available to save lives and make roads safe.’

Report authors Rosemary Addis, Impact Strategist director and member of the G8 Social Impact Taskforce, and Jane Newman, international director of Social Finance, said: ‘Social impact investing provides an exciting option to “unlock” the benefits of improving road safety.’

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